Sunday, July 13, 2014

Live Peaceful

I might be hard to grasp why a teacher would choose a blog title so grammatically incorrect, but it all started with a license plate. Upon purchasing our first car together, my husband and I desired to mark the occasion by getting personalized plates. We didn’t want to express a hobby or a profession to the drivers behind us, but a philosophical approach, one that could be shared with others, something universal.  Peace is a quality we both strive for in our lives, so live peacefully seemed an apt sentiment for us to express.  Of all the ways to express this in concept in 7 letters and have it still be comprehendible by our readers, LIVPCFL, were the letters we chose to get the point across.  We knew that the phrase Live Peacefully would have been the optimal expression of this thought.  (How do you wish to live your life? Peacefully! The adverb is the ideal choice in this situation) However LIVPCFLY would not fit and LVPCFLY could be misconstrued.  (Love PC Fly? Huh??? Live Pacifically? What??? Love peacefully? Okay, not bad!)  After much debate, LIVPCFL won out despite the grammatical repercussions. 

Another possibly irksome quality of this wording is the sentence type.  Imperative.  The way the verb is grouped with this adjective assumes the command form.  Yet we are not demanding that our fellow humans assume a Zen state.  Be peaceful, dammit!  It is merely a suggestion, one of those things that makes you go hmmm at the stoplight.  Considering ramming the back of my car because I am an out of practice driver?  (I choose to walk to most of my destinations in our small town whenever possible), LIVPCFL.  Perhaps that road raged driver would think twice and choose a more tolerant path.  Sometimes we don’t even know what an individual whom we share the road of life with is experiencing in a given moment.  I once had a woman follow me into a parking lot, get out of her car and inquire, “Excuse me, Live Peaceful?  Is that what your car says.”   I smiled, hoping she wasn’t some how offended. “Yes, that’s right,” I confirmed.  “Thank you,” she breathed, “I needed that.”  Then she got back in her car and drove away.  Believe me, I’ve wondered about the circumstances of this stranger’s life and why she needed this message on that particular day.  Was she stressed at work and thinking of yelling at her boss or coworkers and decided to take the high road?  Perhaps she was in a bad relationship in which her partner was unkind or violent toward her and she needed a sign it was time to move on?  Maybe she just got up on the wrong side of the bed and needed a nudge to shift her thinking in the right direction.  Whatever the reason, our belief had a positive effect on at least one other being, and that was the reason for choosing those words. 

So when deciding to write a blog about my life alongside my husband, Greg, those words personify what I want to write about.  We have written many other blogs together.  I have been the primary writer with my husband occasionally writing a guest piece, editing, and serving as tech support.  Up until now, our blogs have been so specific.  We wrote about a trip we took to Europe, where we traveled abroad for 50 nights.  Another journey where we took my mom abroad for the first time was also featured.  I wrote about real foods and making as much of our food as possible from scratch, and we’ve written several cookbooks for our family and friends each with a particular focus; home gardening, vegetarian foods, holiday recipes, farmer’s market fare, and travel inspired dishes.  While these are all topics we are passionate about, we wanted a forum where we could share the various ways we try to “Live Peaceful” together all under one roof.  I love to cook and preparing meals with quality ingredients from our garden or local farmer’s market is something I want to write about from time to time.  I also want to talk about how we’ve transformed our front and back yards into edible landscaping.  Beyond finding peace in the nourishment we put into our bodies, I want to write about how we move our bodies.  Greg and I started practicing yoga more than 14 years ago.  We began with Kundalini and moved on to study Iyengar.  One summer we took classes four times a week; sometimes we only found time to practice at home.   So yoga is a peaceful practice, I would like to explore.  Beyond that, I have discovered that running is a peaceful practice for me.  Greg’s talents in music bring us both a sense of peace. From a very young age, writing has always been my outlet. Not only does it give me a release, but it offers reflection and growth opportunities as well. Our love of travel, discovering new places, learning about other cultures and meeting new friends will always grace our page.

What will be the topic of this blog?  Peaceful living.  What does that encompass?  I guess the question should be, what doesn’t it include?  Negativity, gossip, mean-spiritedness, judgment, these qualities would obstruct our purpose.  So it is with a light-hearted desire to teach and learn, to share and interact, that we move forward.  Peace be with you!

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